I ate lunch at The Meatball Shop yesterday with my friend Manuela (fellow Murray’s intern). This was the 3rd time I have been here and since Manuela is a vegetarian, this time I went veg – and we shared the veggie meatballs with classic tomato sauce, the risotto (with the most delicious burst in your mouth fresh peas) and a market salad of cucumbers, arugula and fennel. I was disappointed with the salad – I thought they said cucumbers, arugula and FETA – not fennel. Obviously, the cheese-obsessed person I am, I was let down with the lack of feta and found the salad to be a little boring. The veggie meatballs were surprisingly good. You got that consistency of a meatball, but with the occasional nutty bite – with the yummy tomato sauce, I almost forgot I wasn’t eating meat. And the risotto was AWESOME. I love risotto – but find it to be so rich, that I usually prefer to split it as a side order vs. having it as a full meal. It was creamy, rich and scrumptious and the peas were out of this world.
For dessert we had a fresh baked chocolate chip cookie sandwich with vanilla ice cream:
It was really good – though in my opinion, I wish the cookies were a tiny bit softer so it was easier to eat with a spoon.
Meanwhile, on the topic of vegetarianism, I cooked a roast chicken the other night for Adam and myself. It was probably the best roast chicken I have made thus far – a recipe from Ina Garten. As I was prepping the bird and then carving it, I must say I got a bit squeamish. Working with a whole chicken really is a serious thing. It is true, that as Americans we often cook food that is so removed from its origin, that you don’t really have to think about what it is or where it came from. Everything comes in neat, clean patties & pieces – with no bones, no skin, nothing revealing that it was once an animal. With a whole chicken, you are very aware that you are handling a little dead animal!! Not that I am about to become a vegetarian – but it does make me more aware and I could really see lessening the amount of meat I eat – not necessarily having it be an every day indulgence.